PhD opportunity in fluvial geomorphology, Massey University, New Zealand

Perfil del puesto: 

Applications are invited for a fully funded PhD scholarship in fluvial geomorphology available in the Physical Geography Group at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand, on the topic of: Channel change and sediment transfers in the Ruamahanga catchment: a multi-scalar approach.

The project will assimilate aerial photography, airborne LiDAR, channel cross-sections and flow series datasets to generate the first multi-decadal catchment-scale coarse sediment budget for the Ruamahanga River. Decadal-scale analysis will be augmented by higher resolution event-based mapping at strategically significant reaches using a combination of ground (RTK-dGPS) and airborne (UAV) Structure from Motion surveys.  There will also be scope to develop linkages between geomorphology and stream ecology by using reach-scale geomorphology to map physical habitat change at a range of timescales in order to quantify indices of natural character. This in turn may be integrated with existing macroinvertebrate datasets.

This research connects with Greater Wellington’s Flood Protection Team and will assist in developing a 40 year Floodplain Management Plan for this catchment. The project will be of an applied nature and the successful candidate will be expected to share information regularly with the Flood Protection Team.



Candidates should have an excellent Honours degree and / or Masters degree in Physical Geography, with a clear background in fluvial geomorphology and an interest in developing connections between geomorphology and ecology. A high degree of proficiency in ArcGIS will be required. Some experience of ground survey and / or SfM would be advantageous, although not essential. The successful candidate will be proficient in written and spoken English, be prepared to undertake arduous fieldwork, and have a driver’s license. All who are interested in this PhD opportunity should also ensure they meet the university’s generic PhD eligibility criteria before applying.



This project is co-funded with Greater Wellington Regional Council. The three year PhD scholarship includes an annual, tax-free stipend of NZ$25,000, with tuition fees and modest resource costs provided in addition to this.


Supervision Team

The candidate will join the Physical Geography Group, and Innovative River Solutions in the Institute of Agriculture and Environment, Massey University, and be supervised by a team comprising Dr Ian Fuller, Prof Russell Death, Prof Mark Macklin and Dr Sam McColl.


Application Procedure

To apply, please email Dr Ian Fuller ( with a full C.V. (with the contact details of at least one academic referee) and an accompanying letter of application detailing how your experience, background and qualification are suited to this position. Please consider your application unsuccessful if you have not received a reply within one month.


Closing date

When filled.


Start date

By negotiation. Funding is available immediately.


More information

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Dr Ian Fuller (, Associate Professor in Physical Geography, Institute of Agriculture & Environment, Massey University +64 (06) 356 9099 ext. 84852.

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